Tips on Tipping

How much to tip? We have dollar amounts to help you.

By FamilyTime

 Knowing how much to tip is a sticky question. It’s one that can leave even the most worldly person at a loss!

Most of us know to tip 15 to 20 percent in restaurants, figured on the pre-tax total.

Most of us also know to give the skycap or bellhop at least one or two dollars per suitcase. But how much do we leave the housekeeping staff at the hotel? How about our own gardener?

How Much to Tip

Following are some guidelines to tipping. Amounts may vary from region to region. Tips will be higher in big cities such as New York and Los Angeles than in small towns. Use your common sense to decide the amount that is right for your needs.

When in doubt about dollar amounts, figuring a tip based on 15 percent of a pre-tax total is always safe.

  • Waitstaff: 15 to 20 percent before taxes
  • Sommelier: 20 percent of wine bill before taxes
  • Bartender: $1 per drink or 15 to 20 percent before taxes
Hotels and resorts:
  • Bellhops and doormen: $1 or $2 per bag or $2 to $3 for hailing cabs
  • Concierge: $3 to $5 for dinner reservations; $15 to 20 for booking tours and plays
  • Housekeeping: $2 to $5 per night
  • Pool and beach attendants: $2 to $5 per personalized service
  • Golf caddy: $10 to $25
  • Taxi and limo drivers: 10 to 15 percent
  • Airport shuttle drivers: $1 to $2 per bag
  • Parking attendants and valets: $2
At and near home:
  • Gardener: $20 to $50 at end of season
  • Lawn mower: $15 at end of season
  • Hair stylist: 15 percent of bill
  • Deliveries:
    • $5 to $10 for furniture delivery, per person
    • $2 to $5 for flowers
    • $1 to $2 for pizza ($5 for a large or long-distance deliverery)
In the final analysis, how much you tip is a personal decision. Some people are known as big tippers and because they can afford to make grand gestures, they tend to get especially good service. Not all of us can do this, and so relying on a sensible percentage is the best way to go.

Note: We consulted the Itty Bitty Tipping Guide and the Emily Post Institute, among other souces, when we compiled this.